After her son almost drowned, Mynia Deeg decided to take responsibility for the water competence of her family and started teaching him all the essentials. Soon she realized also other parents have a need for more flexible and individual swimming classes and she founded the online swimming school SWIMSTART. We spoke to entrepreneur Mynia about her new entrepeneurial project, her passion for startups and the ups & downs of the FrankfurtRheinMain startup ecosystem.
The idea of SWIMSTART is to enable parents to teach their kids how to swim through an online course and accompanying content. ‘I want to solve the so called “swimming dilemma’, she says, ‘everyone knows that swimming is a life skill, but a lot of kids don’t learn it anymore these days.’ Revenues are being generated through B2C sales and also B2B partnerships e. g. with hotels, conventional swim schools or travel companies.
How can the community contribute to solve the swimming dilemma?
I am conducting a survey to better understand what experiences parents have made with swimming classes around Germany and I’d really appreciate everyone participating. The results are impacting product development and will be used to raise awareness for the problem I am addressing. In addition I’d really appreciate every share of the questionnaire within their respective network. It’s a contribution to make everyone safer around water.
How did the Corona period effect SWIMSTART?
The main issue for SWIMSTART was the fact that public swimming pools had to close. So I quickly adjusted my product development and came up with a product called “SWIM AT HOME” which gives parents the tools to teach their kids the basics of swimming at home – with no need for a pool.
Now as pools are mostly open across the country I have the advantage that many conventional courses are overbooked and that waiting times are getting longer and longer. Parents that want to ensure that they have a safe time with their kids around water have only very limited options at the moment.
On the administrative side I was lucky because I could do most of the paperwork that comes with starting a business digitally.
After your career in the corporate world, you followed your passion for entrepreneurship and startups and worked for a VC and startups in different positions. You are very much involved in the local startup scene, what are your observations?
Everytime I dig into the local startup scene I am surprised by how diverse it is and that, while it’s very fintech-oriented, there’s still so much going on in other areas and industries. I believe Frankfurt is a great startup hub for many reasons:
– Significant financial resources, especially for early stage companies
– Skilled, committed and very international personal
– Short distances both within the city but also very well connected to the rest of the world
On the downside
– Public funding through research grants or grants to support small / young companies is scarce
– While there are many successful entrepreneurs in the region they are not as involved in the startups scene as in other cities. Which is a pity as it’s so valuable to learn from these great entrepreneurs
– Personally I wished there were more life-science startups in and around the city
What was an important learning for you?
Focusing too much on operations such as trying to create the perfect website or the next cute Instagram post vs. focussing on the big goals.